Megan was number 682 and I was number 681, so our bikes were racked right next to each other. I knew this would make our little competition more interesting! We would be able to easily see if the other one was done with the swim or done with the bike. And since we are in the same age group (twins!) we started in the same swim wave, which made our competition a little more head to head.
After getting set up, I left the transition area and ran straight into my parents! I was so glad I was able to find them so easily. Not long after that, I found Chad, his mom and his sister and they all walked down to the swim start. I want back into transition and lost Megan and Genie for about 15 minutes, but eventually found both of them. I did a short little warm up swim, and then waited for our wave to start. Our wave was set to start around 8:30am, and Genie's started about 8:40 or 8:45.
Megan and I hugged and wished each other good luck, and then before I knew it, the cannon boomed and we hit the water. From the get go, it was pretty easy to find clear water. It took me a long time to get into a good rhythm with my breathing, but by the time I hit the first buoy (the course was a rectangle shaped out & back) I felt pretty good. I couldn't tell where Megan was, but I was convinced that she was right next to me. That really made me push myself until the very end of the swim! I was so happy when I made the last turn and started heading back to shore because I knew the end was in sight (literally!) for the swim. I hit the beach running at 18:30 and was very pleased with my time - I was shooting for 20 minutes so I was thrilled with 18:30.
I saw everyone cheering for me as I ran down the chute to transition and that gave me an adrenaline boost. When they told me I was ahead of Megan that really gave me a boost! I headed straight into transition to get ready for the bike. When I left transition I still didn't see Megan, so I knew that I needed to hit the bike hard to increase my lead.
The bike course was good, but WAY hillier than I imagined! It was almost like riding in Kentucky! I was glad that I had trained on hills. The worst thing about the bike was that everyone was drafting and some people were riding 2 and 3 deep, across the road. There were 4 girls wearing LSU triathlon jerseys that were riding three across - that made me so mad! People were swerving into the oncoming traffic lane in order to pass them, and even then they would not drop back. I yelled out that they were going to kill someone riding like that, and they finally got over. I later saw a USAT official on a motorcycle taking down their numbers, so at least justice was served! I ate one gel on the bike and drank one full bottle of Gatorade/water mix, and about half of my second water bottle - it was pretty hot out there!
I finished the bike right under 1 hour, and I was very glad to be done. Megan didn't pass me on the bike, but I didn't know if she was right behind me or a few minutes back. I saw Chad as I was coming in on the bike and he was cheering for me, which was so great. As I was running into transition I saw Mrs. Suzy and Payton and my dad, who yelled out "Go Megan!...I mean Meredith!" That was pretty funny!
I was so glad to start the run. I felt good from the start and just tried to keep a nice and steady pace. The course was out and back, in almost a light bulb shape. There were two water stations on the course, and both had icy cold small cups of water and icy washcloths. Those were both very refreshing! At each station I drank a cup of water and poured a cup on my head.
As I rounded the turnaround area, I knew I was in good shape. I hadn't seen Megan yet, so I knew I had a good enough lead to be able to beat her without a sprint to finish. I saw her when I was on my way back, around mile 1.5. We waved and laughed and I might have said "I'm #1!" Seeing her gave me the final boost that I needed to finish strong. I did get a little close to blacking out somewhere between mile 2 and 3, but I kept going and gradually got my wits about me again!
As I was nearing the finish I saw Aunt Genie and she looked great! As I came down the finishing chute I saw my parents, Chad, Mrs. Suzy and Payton and I was just so happy to be done, and happy to make them proud. At the finish line volunteers handed me a great River Cities water bottle full of icy cold water, so I sucked that down as I made my way to my family. Pretty soon Megan finished, and then Aunt Genie finished. It was a great race, and a great day with family! I hope to do this race with them again!
- Total time: 1:51:19
- 14th out of 37 in 25-29F Age group
- Swim: 18:30 (12th in AG)
- T1: 2:40
- Bike: 59:36 (17th in AG)
- T2: 2:30
- Run: 28:01 (14th in AG)
Some pictures from race day!